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Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
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Tucker Taft <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 5 Nov 1996 16:06:36 -0500
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> Tucker Taft wrote:
> >
> [snip]
> >  The committee felt that in the high-assurance,
> > real-time domain, Ada already leads the way, and using Ada had
> > compelling business and techical advantages for the DoD.
> > However in other domains, where the commercial investment outside the
> > DoD dwarfs the DoD's own investments, we felt that the business case for
> > using Ada was not as clear cut, and the use of Ada should not be
> > considered a prerequisite in the choice of contractor and development
> > approach.
> What about mission planning, command & control, intel, and theater
> battle management? These are areas which certainly would have been
> described as "war-fighting" before the NRC report came out (but may be
> re-defined soon in order to avoid a term now Ada-tainted), are not
> necessarily "high assurance, real-time" -- certainly not embedded -- and
> do use graphical user interfaces (usually X currently), and commercial
> database management systems.

Theater battle management is included in the committee's definition
of "warfighting," as is electronic warfare, weapon control,
and wideband real-time surveillance.  Whether or not the DoD adopts
the comittee's notion of "warfighting" as a characterizing term, or
some other term, is up to the DoD policy makers.  The committee,
and in particular Barry Boehm using his experience at TRW and at
DARPA, produced the definition as a starting point, realizing that
the DoD policy makers may want to refine the definition.

> ... Some of us have been working to show how
> successful Ada 95 can be in these areas. I'm kind of wondering if a rug
> is being pulled out from under us, or whether the committee intended
> that this be in the "war-fighting" category.

Ada doesn't need to be mandated to be used.

Admittedly, if there is no mandate for a particular technology
in a particular domain, then a business case must be made for the
use of one technology over another.  I certainly expect and hope
that Ada will continue to be used in many domains that don't relate
even vaguely to war-fighting.  That doesn't necessarily mean it should
be mandated in all such domains.

The business case required to justify use of a particular technology
to solve a particular problem is quite different from the business case
required to justify a mandate for using a particular technology to solve
all problems in a given domain.

> -- David

-Tucker Taft   [log in to unmask]